And that's when she put…

by Jennifer on September 6, 2008

And that’s when she put her book down. And looked at me. And said it: ‘Life isn’t fair, Bill. We tell our children that it is, but it’s a terrible thing to do. It’s not only a lie, it’s a cruel lie. Life is not fair, and it never has been, and it’s never going to be.’

Would you believe that for me right then it was like one of those comic books where the lightbulb goes on over Mandrake the Magician’s head? ‘It isn’t!’ I said, so loud I really startled her. ‘You’re right. It’s not fair.’ I was so happy if I’d known how to dance, I’d have started dancing. ‘Isn’t that great, isn’t it just terrific?’ I think along about here Edith thought I was well on my way toward being bonkers.

And that’s what I think this book’s about. All those Columbia experts can spiel all they want about the delicious satire; they’re crazy. This book says ‘life isn’t fair’ and I’m telling you, one and all, you better believe it. I got a fat spoiled son—he’s not gonna nab Miss Rheingold. And he’s always gonna be fat, even if he gets skinny he’ll still be fat and he’ll still be spoiled and life will never be enough to make him happy, and that’s my fault, maybe—make it all my fault, if you want—the point is, we’re not created equal, for the rich they sing, life isn’t fair. I got a cold wife; she’s brilliant, she’s stimulating, she’s terrific; there’s no love; that’s okay, too, just so long as we don’t keep expecting everything to somehow even out for us before we die.

Look. (Grownups skip this paragraph.) I’m not about to tell you this book has a tragic ending. I already said in the very first line how it was my favorite in all the world. But there’s a lot of bad stuff coming up, torture you’ve already been prepared for, but there’s worse. There’s death coming up, and you better understand this: some of the wrong people die. Be ready for it. This isn’t Curious George Uses the Potty. Nobody warned me and it was my own fault (you’ll see what I mean in a little) and that was my mistake, so I’m not letting it happen to you. The wrong people die, some of them, and the reason is this: life is not fair. Forget all the garbage your parents put out. Remember Morgenstern. You’ll be a lot happier.

Okay. Enough. Back to the next. Nightmare time.

Thanks to my sister, Ducky, for letting me borrow this…and for, well, everything.

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

sheasy September 6, 2008 at 3:10 pm

Wow. I just read this three times. Thanks for sharing.

we_be_toys September 6, 2008 at 4:06 pm

That is uncanny! I’m re reading this book right now. What are you, in my head?

God I love that man! God I love that book – God, I love that film!

we_be_toyss last blog post..The Waiting Is The Hardest Part

Crazycath September 6, 2008 at 4:35 pm

Life is just…sh…er unfair.

And then you die.
That’s life!

Crazycaths last blog post..Camera Critters #22

Madge September 6, 2008 at 6:35 pm

ducky is the best.

Madges last blog post..Morning Forecast

Louise September 6, 2008 at 6:54 pm

I can’t let Prince Charming read this or we’ll be watching that movie tonight! (Not that I don’t love the movie; I do. It’s just that I was thinking of some Jane Austen.)

Oh, and life isn’t fair. It isn’t fair to any of us. It’s how we handle it. You’ve done a good job of yours.

Louises last blog post..Late Summer Sky–SkyWatch

JCK September 6, 2008 at 9:18 pm

It’s not fair. And very puzzling why things happen as they do.

Is this the same tale as the film The Princess Bride?

JCKs last blog post..I truly believe that children come into our world with their own uniqueness

flutter September 6, 2008 at 9:54 pm

Ducky rocks almost as much as you do.

flutters last blog post..Rage at the Coffee Bar

anymommy September 7, 2008 at 1:03 pm

That’s odd. I’ve been thinking this all morning after some news about a friend’s baby girl. It really, really isn’t.

anymommys last blog post..Jitters

melissa September 7, 2008 at 6:54 pm

The best book ever–Love the Princess Bride. And life isn’t fair at all. Sooner one learns that, the better.

melissas last blog post..The other F word

manager mom September 8, 2008 at 10:43 am

You know, I have seen the movie about a bazillion times and it’s one of my favorites EVER, but I never thought about reading the book!

Off to put in my library queue.

manager moms last blog post..I Will Run You Down Like The Vermin You Are

Milena September 8, 2008 at 4:43 pm

I have never read the book and the movie I’ve seen only once entirely (loved it). Still remember Inigo Montoya – My name is Inigo Montoya, prepare to die. That is from the movie right? What about our match? Ducky you are fabulous. Oh! And I just read Ron’s comment. Agree with him completely on the fairness thing.

Milenas last blog post..Because someday you might ask how your father and I met – Part I

the mama bird diaries September 8, 2008 at 7:16 pm

So true. Not fair at all. And so many reminders in this world of the inequities.

the mama bird diariess last blog convention withdrawal

Deb September 9, 2008 at 6:30 am

Well. Stopped in for a casual visit while drinking my first cup of coffee and am now going to spend some serious time reflecting. Life isn’t fair but it beats the alternative. We have to make the most of what comes our way – or do we? I choose to dig the heels of my flipflops in and work hard everyday to make it at least seem fair. It builds character, I believe. And good luck on your moving decision! At least you have great places to choose from and you have a choice. Take care.

Debs last blog post..Summer ~ Please don’t go !

San September 9, 2008 at 9:00 am

I’ll chime in: Life’s not fair, at least in a rational sense. It’s magical nonetheless. Wonderful post, as ever.

Sans last blog post..Let Me Eat Cake

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: